The Christian Institute has issued a report which claims that Christians are being marginalised by a raft of equality and diversity laws which leave them the first to be punished and the last to be protected. They link the report to the comments made by the Archbishop of Canterbury at the weekend that the Government treats Christians as eccentric oddities.
The report, called “Marginalising Christians”, catalogues numerous cases of Christians being sidelined by public bodies, popular media, employers and barriers to public funding and charts examples of Christians being violently attacked in ‘faith hate’ assaults.
The Christian Institute says faith groups fear the Equality Bill currently being debated will further erode ‘their’ liberty because the Government is using the Bill to drastically shrink the freedom of churches to insist that their staff’s sexual conduct is in keeping with the Bible.
Let’s get this straight. A minority of Christians, those who are conservative in theology and literal in their reading of the Bible fear being marginalized by the proposed laws.
Other Christians, the majority, live and work in UK society where equality in law for gay people, women, ethnic minorities, those with disabilities, is taken as essential to the health of our society and those who, in the past, have been subjected to discrimination. Elements in the Church insist on maintaining taboos and prejudices. More, they insist on legal protection for their prejudice.
The majority of Christians welcome the way in which legal equality and protection has been extended to groups who in the past had been discriminated against.
Many Christians do not feel marginalized in modern Britain as Mike Judge, from the the Christian Institute, claims. A minority feel marginalized because they adhere to discriminatory Christian belief systems.
The “… stream of equality and diversity laws [that] have failed to reasonably accommodate the rights of religious believers [and]. Christians in particular [who] feel they have been pushed to the back of the queue … the first to be punished and the last to be protected”, as Mike Judge claims, are welcomed by Changing Attitude and many other Christian groups because they are making reluctant minorities within the church face the reality of their prejudice and the damaging effects of some Christian teachings once claimed to be fundamental.
The majority of Christians welcome equality and diversity legislation and want it extended to cover everyone in the church, including those in ordained ministry, women, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people INCLUDED!